UPDATE: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Secretary of State Kris Kobach says Kansas legislators can show they're serious about fighting election fraud by passing his bill to speed up a requirement for some potential voters to show proof of citizenship.
But the Republican secretary of state faced hostile questions Wednesday from Democrat during a House Elections Committee hearing.
A law enacted last year says people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas must prove their U.S. citizenship, starting in January 2013. Kobach wants the rule to take effect by June 15, ahead of this year's presidential election.
But state Rep. Ann Mah, a Topeka Democrat, predicted the state won't be ready to administer the rule so quickly and that it will be a problem for thousands of potential voters, which Kobach disputes.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A Kansas House committee is reviewing a proposal by Secretary of State Kris Kobach to speed up a requirement for some people registering to vote to show proof of citizenship.
Kobach was expected to testify during the Elections Committee's
meeting Wednesday morning.
A law enacted last year says people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas must provide proof of their citizenship starting in January 2013. Kobach wants the rule in effect by June 15, ahead of this year's presidential election.
Kobach says the rule will combat election fraud. He also says voter registration traditionally surges in the months before a presidential election.
Critics worry the rule will suppress voter registration. They also question whether Kansans can be adequately educated about the
requirement by June.